I had the great pleasure of attending Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint retailer training in Memphis, Tennessee a few summers ago. Abbe Doll of All Dolled Up and Jennylyn Pringle, the president of Homestead House, led the training. It was hosted by the local Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint retailer, Stephanie Jones, at her studio, Me & Mrs Jones.
The studio in historic Cooper Young is as adorable on the inside as it is on the outside, jam packed with giant inspiration boards and tables with stenciled drop cloths for workshops, and lots of DIY books and furniture pieces available for purchase. I could have spent days and days (and she has since opened a second location in Germantown). I really need to plan a return trip!
Stephanie is an amazing hostess and so knowledgeable. Everyone who attended training was impressed with and inspired by her – she is a great talent and a warm, fun lady! And here’s the really great news for those of us who can’t easily get to Memphis to soak it all in – She has written a book! You can have a tiny bit of Stephanie Jones in your own home. Trust me, you want this book…
Stephanie wrote and was the principal photographer for Upstyle Your Furniture and it just feels like you are talking to her in her studio. It has 27 step-by-step tutorials and over 300 color photos. Think you know everything about furniture painting and DIY? You need this book because it will take your distressing, design and all-around painting to the next level!
I asked Stephanie a few questions about her own personal style and decision-making…
E: What inspires your color choices on non-custom pieces?
S: I try to let the shape and style of the piece do the talking…clean, simple, larger? (Neutrals, maybe a pattern…) Delicate or feminine silhouette? (Definitely a softer, washy sort of a color opportunity). Small, unique/kooky, or modern? (Insert bright, saturated color here.) That said, having recently re-watched a favorite movie or show – something with strong interiors, like ‘Marie Antoinette’ or ‘Pride & Prejudice” – will have me looking for a piece and breaking the rules to suit a mood.
E: If you could only paint with one color, what would it be?
S: One color? Are you kidding? Okay…I’ll play. May I say shades of white? Will you count that as one color?
E: How would you label your personal style?
S: Amped-up heirloom’…a little auntie’s attic with hits of strong color, and some industrial or farmstead salvage thrown in for texture.
E: Do you have any advice for other small business moms?
S: Attention small business moms: Take the pressure off yourselves. up front, be clear with your clients…Manage their expectations. Without apologies. Wrap up your work day when the school bell rings…It may take a little longer to reach your business goals, but you won’t have any regrets. (You may have to play catch-up after everyone’s in bed, but it will be worth it. Bet you knew that already.